The Guard are back in spectacular fashion as they stay undefeated at the North American Last Chance Qualifier. The Guard beat FaZe Clan 2-0 in a decisive win that placed them in the LCQ grand final.
The team has looked like a new and improved version of themselves during their run at the LCQ, where they’ve only dropped one map. According to The Guard’s Trent “trent” Cairns, it was the losses they suffered at Masters Reykjavík and Stage 2 Challengers that helped motivate them.
“They always saying losing is success because you always gain more from losing than you do from winning,” trent said in an interview after the match against FaZe. “We buckled down and we started practicing more, we started VOD-reviewing more, we starting getting all of our strats down. All of us, with 100% effort and hard work, we all just came back and we all want to win now.”
Champions 2022 is on the line for teams at LCQ. What’s more, it’s the end of the VALORANT Champions Tour for the year. And with 2023 and franchising looming, every player wants to prove they have what it takes to play for the top teams in North America. There’s no better forum to prove that then at Champions.
“This is the biggest tournament of the year and we want to go there,” trent said.
The Guard topple FaZe at NA LCQ
The Guard made the decision to leave Haven — usually their permanent ban — open. FaZe seized the opportunity, but came up short against a well-drilled Guard team who had an answer for everything FaZe tried.
“We had an off day and they were just hitting their shots,” FaZe’s Phat “supamen” Le said. “Not to take anything away from them. They came very well prepared against us, on Haven especially.”
The series went to Icebox where The Guard were able to close it out 2-0 with a 13-7 victory. Trent said that the map pool, including Map 3 of Ascent – which ended up not being required — was strong for them.
“It’s extremely easier to play against a team when you have a good read against them,” trent said. “On Icebox, we just play our game and our weird comp. And people don’t know how to play against it.”
Now The Guard sit pretty as they wait for one of FaZe, Cloud9 or 100 Thieves to make it through the lower bracket. Asked who he thinks will be the other grand finalist, trent predicted either Cloud9 or FaZe. That said, he felt like 100T would be the team that could give them the most trouble.
No matter what, it’s clear that The Guard are firing on all cylinders. The team has looked a cut above their opposition and are clearly hungry to go to Champions.
“We’re in a form that we’ve never been before,” trent said. “We’re unstoppable.”
The grand final will take place at 4 p.m. ET on Aug. 14.
Coby Zucker is Upcomer's resident CS:GO writer. He's also played League of Legends at the collegiate level and is a frequent visitor in TFT Challenger Elo. He's a firm believer that Toronto should be the next big esports hub city.